Jones felt his attackers were wrongly flagged offside during Tykes defeat

Town chief left frustrated with officials' decisions

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 10:58 am
Town chief Nathan Jones has words with the fourth official during yesterday's 2-1 defeat

Luton boss Nathan Jones revealed he spoke to the officials following yesterday's 2-1 defeat to Barnsley about what he felt was an unfair offside count against his side.

Town’s players were continually flagged by the referee’s assistant throughout the contest, nine times in fact, with a number of them deemed to be the wrong call by Jones, denying what he felt were potential goalscoring opportunities.

The Hatters chief said afterwards: "It was going to happen today and I’ve been into the officials for the last 15 minutes, because it’s a tactic that Barnsley do.

“Barnsley kick as long as they can and they squeeze up to the half way line, so to get in, you have to have one, a good ball, two, a well-timed run, and you have to have the officials on the ball.

“Now there’s been four where we’ve been in today, that weren’t offside, so that’s disappointing for us, as then it could have been different.

“That’s where they (officials) have to play their part and I’ve been in saying that.

"As I don’t think they mean to do it, but when they see a big high line and they think, ‘he’s either clean in here, or I can give a free kick and no-one will say anything about it’, I think it’s easier to give that.

“So that’s it, but that’s how Barnsley play and they’ve been very successful doing it.

"So credit to the manager, credit to what they do and we worked as much as we could on getting in off a high line, but we didn’t really do that today.”

Despite his disappointment regarding the officials, Jones didn’t hide away from the poor performance served up by his team.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, Town did start the second period looking to get into the ascendancy, only to concede a second goal just before the hour.

They tried to fight back again thanks to James Collins' strike with seven minutes left, but weren't able to find an equaliser, as the boss continued: “We were getting back into it and then the goal kills you.

"We had a real good grandstand finish after we scored, penned them in, but I keep saying, you can’t give teams 2-0 leads at this level.

"It’s not League One or League Two anymore, you can’t do it and we’ve been sloppy.

"If we just did the basics really well and done everything well, been on the front foot, done everything we could, then we’re not in that position.

"But the lead up to the goals is poor, lead up to the first one is poor, lead up to the second is poor, they haven’t had to do a hell of a lot to score, and that’s the frustrating thing.

"We don’t get given goals, we have to take our goals, or earn them, or make them, but we’re giving goals away at the minute.

"The Derby goal (2-0 defeat) was just sloppy, in terms of the second goal, and it kills the game, and that’s the difference."